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General Atomics Completes Cold Weather Validation on SkyGuardian

System Put Through the Cold-Soak Ringer at Subzero Temps to Check for Winter Function

General Atomics evaluated the cold weather readiness of its MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) while they enjoyed the winter weather, publishing news of their successful tests at the end of February.

As part of an effort to appeal to prospective Nordic customers, General Atomics brought a SkyGuardian into -21°C/-5°F weather and allowed it to sit for 12 hours, ensuring temperature stability before beginning the preflight. Just like any operational aircraft, they put it through a standard de-icing process before completing engine start and system checks in ambient air at the same subzero temp. The flight was successful, according to the GA-ASI Flight Test and Training Center.

The cold weather testing should help to accelerate worldwide implementation of their MQ-9B SkyGuardian lineup, now that it's proved its mettle in the near arctic conditions frequently found throughout the global north.

“Among the many transformative features of our MQ-9B line of RPA is the aircraft’s ability to perform in extreme temperatures,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We welcome the cold weather operational capability requirements from Nordic countries, as the MQ-9B is built for all-weather global missions, and we’re thrilled to have MQ-9B perform so impressively under these demanding cold conditions. The CWV, coupled with our recent Low Earth Orbit (LEO) SATCOM flight tests, demonstrate how our aircraft can successfully perform missions in the Arctic region, which is becoming a clear security priority for NORAD and NATO.”



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